Phase Three completes an eight-year State Public Housing transformation in East Boston.
BOSTON – Friday, June 23, 2023 – Boston Housing Authority Administrator Kate Bennett today joined residents of the Orient Heights public housing community, officials from the Mayor’s Office of Housing and the Massachusetts Executive Office of Housing and Livable Communities (EOHLC), and the development team of Trinity Financial and the East Boston Community Development Corporation to celebrate the completion of the 331-unit public housing redevelopment of Overlook Terrace at Orient Heights.
This final phase was the culmination of a planning and development process initiated in 2008 by the BHA, with State funding provided by EOHLC’s predecessor, DHCD. The three-phase redevelopment project restored one of Boston’s most distressed state public housing communities, creating a new, thriving community while preserving its deep affordability for residents in East Boston.
“Thanks to our incredible partners, the future of the Orient Heights community is secure” BHA Administrator Kate Bennett said. “Orient Heights residents in this last phase have waited patiently for a beautiful new home. That wait is now over.”
Phase One of the Overlook Terrace at Orient Heights redevelopment effort was completed in 2018 and involved the construction of 120 units of new replacement state public housing. Phase One achieved Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Platinum certifiability. Phase Two consisted of 88 new replacement state public housing rental units in a combination of apartment style and townhouse homes. The Phase Two property, which also includes new community and open spaces and play areas, achieved LEED Gold certifiability for sustainability and energy efficiency and was completed in 2020. Phase Three completed the revitalization and modernization of the remaining 123 units at Orient Heights, as well as the creation of a new public park and improvements to public infrastructure.
“Today is a great milestone for East Boston, and a very satisfying outcome to an initiative Trinity became involved with more than eight years ago. We value the remarkable leadership Kate Bennett has provided as a tremendous ally for affordable and equitable housing throughout the city,” said Eva Erlich, Vice President-Development for Trinity Financial and project manager for Overlook Terrace. “This community we have built is the result of great collaboration between public and private sectors, and vital input from residents and neighbors who helped shape a vision of what affordable housing can look like in East Boston and beyond.”
The City of Boston committed $17 million of capital funds for Phase Three, including ($500,000 of Community Preservation Funds for Open Space). The State provided $17.5 million in capital funds, as well as an allocation of 4% and State Low Income Housing Tax Credits. Additional funders for Phase 3 include Citizens, RBC Community Investments, MassHousing, and the George B. Henderson Foundation.
“The completion of Orient Heights is a testament to the vision and collaboration of the City of Boston.” said Reza Aghamirzadeh, Citizens’ Executive Vice President and Head of Community Development. “At Citizens, we’re committed to strengthening communities and catalyzing economic growth by directing capital to support development of affordable housing. We’re honored to have partnered with Trinity Financial and the Boston Housing Authority and are proud to welcome home the families of Orient Heights.”
The BHA initiated the planning process for Orient Heights in 2008 with the support of DHCD to consider redevelopment options for the community. In January 2015, with an award of funding from DHCD, the BHA selected the development team of Trinity Financial and East Boston CDC to work with both agencies and the residents of the Orient Heights community to finalize a redevelopment strategy. In partnership with the BHA and DHCD, the development team secured financing to implement the redevelopment, and will own and manage the buildings into the future. The BHA continues to own the land and leases it to Trinity. All 331 apartment units are state public housing, about a quarter of which benefit from other state and federal operating subsidies.
Phase One was funded by affordable housing resources from the City of Boston, funds raised through an allocation of federal 4% Low Income Housing Tax Credit, tax-exempt bonds for construction financing, and State public housing capital funds from BHA and DHCD. Phase Two was made possible with funds from the City of Boston, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts’s EOHED and DHCD, the BHA, MassWorks, MassHousing, RBC Community Investments, and Citizens.
About the Boston Housing Authority
Boston Housing Authority provides quality affordable housing for low-income families and individuals through the public housing and Section 8 rental assistance programs. We foster vital communities that are essential to our city’s economic diversity and way of life. As the largest housing provider in Boston, we bring stability, opportunity, and peace of mind not only to the thousands of low-income families we support, but to the city as a whole. To learn more, visit bostonhousing.org
ABOUT TRINITY FINANCIAL
Trinity Financial is a community-driven, diverse real estate development firm with a proven-track record of redeveloping complex urban sites from New York to Greater Boston. Our work spans half a dozen residential and commercial specialties, from multi-family housing to transit-oriented development. Over the past 30 years, Trinity has completed more than $3 billion in innovative development, delivering high quality, sustainable, multi-family housing, ranging from affordable to luxury – all with a commitment to people and place. For more information about Trinity Financial, please visit www.trinityfinancial.com.